Before we continue, I want to be very clear about something: Lean media does not guarantee success. The music, gaming, and online publishing industries are littered with projects and collaborations and experiments that never amounted to much. They eventually were killed by their creators, or faded away into obscurity because they couldn’t scale or couldn’t get the business to work. I readily acknowledge throughout this book that lean media is not a recipe for business success.
At the other end of the spectrum, it must be acknowledged that fat media is not synonymous with failure. Indeed, high-value productions have scored some remarkable successes. Taking some examples from the beginning of the book, The Simpsons and Minecraft have become industry juggernauts that employ hundreds of people and generate billions of dollars in revenue. Every year, Hollywood places big bets on making blockbuster action movies, some of which succeed on a massive scale. There are musical and stage productions which require huge investments of time and money to be realized, and the world celebrates the results. Indeed, a fat
media launch may be required in certain situations, or when established artists, creators, directors, and producers want to take their visions to the next level or meet the high expectations of their audiences.
But at the early stages if media innovation, when ideas are being batted around and excitement is building, doesn’t it make more sense to take a low-cost approach that allows for quick prototyping, fast iteration, and early audience testing? If it doesn’t work, change the formula or throw it out and try something else. If it’s an outright failure, the investment of time, money, and resources will be significantly less than if the same failed project had been undertaken with a fat
media approach launch playbook in mind.
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated! Use the comment form below. You can also sign up to be alerted when the book is released.